Amazon unveils the Kindle Paperwhite: Crisper fonts, slimmer size, and pumped-up pixels

amazon announces kindle paperwhite

Check out our review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

The new Kindle hardware inarguably stole plenty of attention at today’s event. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ waxed lovingly about the lineup as well as users’ love for it before introducing us to the Kindle Paperwhite, the latest addition to the Kindle family.

“We love to invent. We love to pioneer,” he said. “We even like going down alleys that turn out to be blind alleys.” Bezos also explained that while Amazon is a risk-taker, it’s also perfectly happy when it strikes gold – and that it certainly has with the Kindle.

kindle paperwhite specs

The Kindle Paperwhite is a significant upgrade, and features plenty of what we all thought it would: It’s a frontlit, E-Ink reader, with much higher resolution and contrast. The screen now boasts 212 pixels per inch, which is 62 percent more resolution than the last version, and contrast has been increased 25 percent from current Kindles. What else? The Paperwhite also gets rid of the Kindle’s infrared touch technology in favor of capacitive touch, and includes patented light guide technology (which Bezos called highly adjustable). It’s a slim 9.1 mm and 7.5 ounces, with eight weeks of battery life (even with the light left on).

And those are just the hard specs. Amazon has done a lot of work on font display, and the Kindle Paperwhite is able to analyze your reading speed and tell you how much time it will take you to finish a chapter or book. Other new features include author bios, and as you’d expect you can switch between content saved to your Kindle, connect to the cloud, and use X-Ray content analysis for tracking characters and story development.

amazon kindle paperwhite announcement 2012 line

The Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi model will cost $119, and the 3G-enabled version $179. You can order both now, and they will ship in October. In addition to the new devices, Amazon also has an upgraded its entry-level Kindle and cut cost from $79 to $69. The new version has better contrast and resolution, crisper fonts with more text, and faster page turning. It will ship September 14.

Of course, this is only a sampling of what Amazon is announcing today. We’ll be at the event and bringing you more news throughout the day.